Nova Scotia

Union recommends NewPage mill workers accept offer

Former workers from the NewPage mill in Port Hawkesbury, N.S., will head to the polls Monday and Tuesday to vote on a controversial offer to reopen the mill.

Former workers from the NewPage mill in Port Hawkesbury, N.S., will head to the polls on Monday and Tuesday to vote on a controversial offer to reopen the plant.

The Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union, which represents the workers, made the announcement late Sunday.

The offer from Pacific West Commercial Corp. came under fire last week when it was revealed that only 229 unionized employees will be hired if the mill is restarted.

That's less than half of the 600 employees who were at the mill when it closed last September.

A spokesperson says they have made some improvements in the initial offer made Thursday, including sections that cover seniority rights and vacation pay.

The union's president, Collie Beaton, is recommending that members accept the deal. 

But some members are apprehensive about the plan.

Archie MacLachlan, who sits on the union's executive, compared the vote to having a gun to their heads. He said if they don't accept, he's convinced the mill will close for good.

The union members will be able to vote from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day.

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